It's been a good while since I have posted up a report, so I thought I would go ahead and put something together from my recent trip up to Lake Murray (Thursday and Friday).
I got there at about 5 on Thursday afternoon and quickly set up camp. I wasn't there to relax and sit around drinking beer, I was there to slay some smallmouth. I hit the water and got to work.
I focused on the lower end of the lake, and started off targeting some of the rocky cliffs (shady side). This was my first trip to Murray, but it didn't take me very long to figure out that the lake is LOADED with sunfish (green sunfish to be specific). They were all over my soft plastics, and I was actually landing quite a few of these little guys with a dropshot. This didn't bother me at all, as I frequently target them anyway.
They were pecking away at the senkos too, which almost got annoying. I finally hooked into a few spots and largemouth, and as the sun went down, I started throwing a Zara Spook. Had a few misses and connected a few times, but nothing big, and no smallmouth to speak of. I paddled back to camp in the darkness, already contemplating adjustments.
I slept under the moon in the open, on a cot. I'd like to be romantic and say that I normally do this, but I opted for tent-free camping in order to save time, and mainly, because it was HOT.
I was back on the water at 5 in the morning on Friday with a few new baits tied on. Based on my first outing, I was fairly certain that the smallies had gone deeper for the summer. On Murray, they certainly have the option. It gets deep, fast.
I started with the spook on points, and also started throwing a jig with a crawfish trailer. I noticed a few short spurts of surface activity, and connected almost ever time with a Spook. Again, no smallies, just sandbass. As I expected, it wasn't until I backed off on the points that I started connecting with smallmouth on the jig. Anywhere from 10 to 20 feet.
I also expected that this wouldn't last long, and I was right. I caught a handful of smallies during that first hour or so, and as the sun made its way over the horizon, the smallmouth were gone.
I caught a few more largemouth and sunfish before I decided that it was time to go home and play with my son in the water sprinkler. Smallmouth are fun, but not as much fun as that (and of course, it's a good way to cool off).
Hope everyone is doing well. If you haven't been up to Lake Murray, you should put it on the list. Expect very clear, beautiful water. Ultra clear water can be tough, so plan on downsizing everything, and use fluorocarbon if possible (water clarity was at least 10 feet).